Shalom My Body

 I have taught people about the importance of slowing down and calming yourself down when you notice that you are upset.  I ask people to brainstorm ways that help them to calm their bodies down.  And, I think many people come up with good ideas.  Some come up with not-so-good ideas.  This process call Shalom My Body was something put together by Jim Wilder greatly influenced by Karl Lehman.  I have found this process truly helpful in creating a shift from some form of “upset” to a much more calm state in a fairly brief amount of time.  Much quicker than other options I’ve tried.

I have found that when people are willing to try something new transformation can more readily flow.  Especially if the “new thing” comes recommended by someone you trust and they report positive results.  Of course, I also believe that you should test these things for yourself.  Do not just take my word for it, try it out for a period of time and check the results.

Jim Wilder demonstrating “Shalom My Body”

I welcome your thoughts and actually I appreciate them.  You help me make this a better place and provide me valuable information through your sharing.


Feeling Appreciation Daily – Worksheet

z1 + z2 at fountain

Learning what is necessary for any person to place themselves in a state of mind (brain) to perceive others, including God, relationally is vital to experience peace and love (growth too).  This simple worksheet helps to prime our brains so that we can be in a state of mind to perceive God’s presence as well as other people as relational resources.

Download the worksheet here.

Feeling Appreciation Daily (Appreciation + Interactive seats) [Marriage Retreat 2014]


From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

We can train ourselves to focus our hearts and minds.  Would you like to learn how to pay attention in such a way that builds up your marriage, family and friends?


We have 60+ couples from our church, YNCC, attending a Marriage Day Retreat on Oct 4.  A few months ago the Spirit of the Lord seemed to have put on my heart that this will be a special day for all who attend.  I’ve been praying and preparing for this day together.

I sent an email today to all the couples and plan on posting the videos and worksheets I shared in the email here so it is easy to find.

In preparing for the retreat I asked the couples to watch 2 Gottman Videos.
I encouraged each couple to watch these and reflect on them together.

John Gottman: The Magic Relationship Ratio

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by John Gottman [9:58]

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Dr. John Gottman that can predict relationship disaster and even physical illness and disease are: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, & Stonewalling. Dr. Gottman offers ways of healing conflict.

Marriage Missions – One of my favorite resources to share with couples

People often ask me for a good website to search for articles or videos on Marriage.  This is one of my first go to websites.

Here is what I share in an email to couples.  I hope you are encouraged to do likewise.

Marriage Missions

  • Check out website and become familiar with
  • Find 2 articles that inspire you to grow in your relationship
  • Discuss what you learned and how this will help you in your relationship
  • Email me your reflections.
  • Reflecting and sharing is key to learning and growing.
  • Any questions feel free to ask me.

Below is their Mission Statement & Clarifying Phrase.  (I’ve never heard of that before 🙂

Marriage Missions


Marriage Missions International exists to inspire, encourage, and equip those who are married and those who are preparing for marriage, by providing practical, Biblical resources through e-mail, our web site, teaching and one-on-one opportunities, revealing the heart of Christ within marriage, so they are better able to:

“Be imitators of God as dearly beloved children and to live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”(Ephesians 5:1-2)


Revealing the HEART OF CHRIST within marriage throughout the world.

God’s Principles and Presence

Gods Principles and Presence

Lake Mountain snow

For most of my life of following Christ I have learned the principles of God.   And I am very grateful for this.  I remember in high school my small group leader encouraged us to read Proverbs and Psalms.  That was a very meaningful and powerful experience that set the stage for my desire for wisdom.  During this portion of my life I was drawn to knowing and understanding God’s principles from His word.

In the last number of years I have grown in venture into God’s presence.   This desire to become more aware of and acquainted with God’s presence was always there.   I did not realize or recognize that his presence could actually guide me and leave me and shape me and give me concrete wisdom in the details of my life.

I have known and believe to this day that the Lord is my shepherd and I have everything I need (Psalm 23).  In recent days I have been actually acting as if that was true in my present reality.  That I could follow the lead of His spirit and he would provide for me and guide me like the shepherd He is.

As I become aware of God’s presence I see how his Spirit highlights or holds up different principles in his kingdom at different times in different ways.  It is in the standing before Him in His community with open hands and an open heart that I have begun to trust in each moment that I can learn how to follow the lead of the Spirit.

It is becoming clearer to me that I want to spend the rest of my life with people who want to follow the presence of God wherever He leads.   And, I really want to grow in this way of trusting the shepherd to lead me each moment so that I become the kind of person who does this naturally.  And, to do this so that my children grow up seeing their parents trusting and following the lead of the Spirit so that it becomes second nature to them.  It is my desire to bless them to live in such a way.

* (Note: This was written late Sunday night.  I sensed the Spirit desired for me to write it and post it as it is rather than doing my “better get it perfect before I post it” type of thing.  I am learning to act, reflect, and learn.)

Ash Wednesday

Tonight I went to a church close by my home, Montrose Church, for their Ash Wednesday service.   My family and I attended a few Sundays there during my sabbatical this past summer (2013).  The really wonderful thing was that we already knew a few people that attend the church.  Love how God brings people together.  I thought the pastor did a great job of articulating the meaning and purpose of Ash Wednesday and helping us establish the fast.  Thank you Pastor Dave Roberts.

I came home to prepare a one page “guide” for myself to create or deepen a few practices to turn from my sin and towards Jesus during these 40 days of Lent (minus the Sundays) before the resurrection of Jesus.

I found this short and insightful (fun too) 2 min video on Ash Wednesday.

Even though I have known the basics about Ash Wednesday this short video was helpful.

Why was Jesus so direct? (Journal entry & listening prayer)

Each morning I write out a prayer, often in conversation with Jesus over his word. Generally, I record my conversation with Jesus and share with a few friends. In this spiritual community we call this sharing our – My Daily Bread (See link for more info on this process from my mentor).

Today I share my prayerful conversation with Jesus about his words to his disciples when he says, “Why are you afraid you people of weak faith?” I share and hope this is an encouragement and inspires you to get to know and trust Jesus. At the very least you can see my relationship with Jesus.


When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!”

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?”
Then he got up and gave orders to the winds and the lake, and there was a great calm. (Matt 8:23-26)


Jesus, I know when you are speaking to the disciples you are not insulting them, nor demeaning them by saying they are people of weak faith, but rather you are describing the reality of what they trust and how robust their trust in you is – it is weak. In the midst of a very scary situation for them (the boat is being tossed and turned) again, it would have been reasonable for them to be very afraid. Yet, in this moment you don’t comfort them rather you describe the reality of where they put their trust. Then, you give orders to the sea and things become calm (which I am sure they are comforted by this situation). In the previous moment you tell the disciples – “Let the dead bury the dead.” You are speaking some pretty strong words here. Very clear and to the point. What is going on here? Why did you need to be so clear and direct?

John, I know such clear and direct, confrontational kind of talk is not the way you normally talk, nor lead. And, I speak in many different tones and strengths. In these moments I am gathering a small group of people together for my life to be planted within them. In a sense it is very compassionate because they would not be surprised (well, not completely surprised) by what the cost will be in following me. In the formation of this early team I needed to draw the line and describe reality about what it means to follow me. It is a narrow path. Yet, it truly leads to life. Abundant life. But, initially and throughout the journey of following me, being with me, having me formed within – requires a surrender that most people will not choose. John, don’t you find yourself with clear choices of either the narrow way of forgiving Sungshim for a comment or look? Sometimes you’d rather (and you do at times) send her back a like-minded jab? Everyone who follows me goes through this process over and over again. This was the beginning of a new way of living for these disciples. On a deep level I was kind to their ego alerting them that if they were going to follow me their ego would need to die and surrender to my life within them.

Wow, Jesus, I can see this in a whole new way. This isn’t completely new, as you and I have conversed about these moments when you are quite intense. I need to be reminded again and again. I wonder when I have prevented your life that is in this form from budding because I was afraid of upsetting people. I ask for your wisdom, grace and love when these moments arise in my life. Deepen my trust in you to surrender to your life flowing within so that I can be clear and direct when you lead me in that direction.

Jesus, help me to attend to the way your Spirit moves within me so that I can grow deeper in my trust in you. Help me to take the risk of honoring your voice within me and go with you. Surrender to the Spirit’s moves in my heart and mind. Amen.

Contemplative Breathing

IN – I breath in your heart of truth and love.
OUT – I breath out the freedom of surrendering to your life flowing through me.


* Thank you to my wife for encouraging me to share this.  Thank you honey!

Empathy is the glue that holds us together

Do you ever think about the difference between empathy and sympathy?
Even think there is a difference?

Brene Brown has a thoughtful and humorous take on the difference.

RSA Shorts – The Power of Empathy

In this short video you will learn why empathy is challenging for many people, but isn’t that complicated if we are willing to give it a shot.

This is originally from Brene Brown’s website here

Great story on Marriage and love

“Danny and Annie” from StoryCorps

I watched this simple video. A simple story of two people loving each other over the years. I think we need to fill our hearts with these kinds of relationships.

What sort of relationships are we meditating upon?
We will become like those relationships.

3 Ingredients to Change

What is needed for people to change? To truly be transformed into a new kind of person?


I’ve thought about this for most of my life and all of my adult life. So, this writing won’t encompass my thoughts on this subject and yet I thought it framed the question nicely.

I came home today and overheard my wife speaking on the phone. It was in Konglish so I could only understand portions of it. Grateful for the portions I could understand. She was talking with one of her close friends about another conversation she had today with a mentor about 3 elements involved in people changing. (These are my reflections from what I heard and I do not want neither my wife nor mentor to be debited with any poorly stated thoughts here).

The 3 ingredients are:

Understanding the Past
Knowledge of Virtue (aka, the good life)
Practicing the Virtue

I will ever so briefly share some initial thoughts about each one to spur our thinking.

Understanding the Past – looking at our personal history to understand where we get stuck and seeking healing and awareness.

Knowledge of Virtue – This is transfer of information of what the good life looks like.

Practicing the Virtue – Acting in wise ways that put into practice some aspect of the good life.


What percentage would you place for each category?

Initially I am only sketching these 3 briefly. In future writing I will take some aspects of life and run it through this grid. Possible topics to run through the grid are anger & anxiety. If you want to see some other aspect run through this grid please share in the comments.

*Note: I am not limiting myself to only these 3 ingredients as part of change but painting with very broad strokes to spur on thinking and conversation. You can keep spurring others on, including myself, if you comment below. I would appreciate that. I enjoy thoughtful conversations.